ESSENCE, the preeminent brand for African-American women, proudly honored remarkable moments and performers in film and television at yesterday’s 10th annual ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood Awards & Gala. Honoring Hollywood’s “Next Generation” the 2017 ESSENCE Black Women In Hollywood awards were presented to Janelle Monáe, Issa Rae, Aja Naomi King and Yara Shahidi.
Known as one of Oscar week’s most exalted and star-studded events, the red carpet included celebrity appearances and guests such as Gabrielle Union, Shonda Rhimes, Viola Davis, Pharrell Williams, Common, Tracee Ellis Ross, Jurnee Smollet-Bell, Laverne Cox, Alfre Woodard, Holly Robinson Pete, Sherri Shepard, Tyrese Gibson, Alfred Enoch, Letoya Luckett, Quvenzhane Wallis, Debbie Allen, Tina Knowles-Lawson, Loni Love, Margaret Avery amongst others. Cynthia Erivo offered a heart-wrenching solo performance between honoree acceptances.
Powerhouse actress Aja Naomi King was presented the Lincoln Shining Star Award by Viola Davis. Multi-talented singer, songwriter, actress and model Janelle Monáe was presented the Breakthrough Award by Pharrell Williams. Issa Rae was presented the Vanguard Award by Debbie Allen and Yara Shahidi was presented the Generation Next Award by Tracee Ellis Ross.